President Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, unlocking more federal resources to assist the state.
"Yesterday, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms beginning on February 11, 2021, and continuing," the White House said in a written statement on Saturday.
Biden already approved an emergency declaration for the state last weekend, but the major disaster declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide more resources and assistance, including, for example, supplementing insurance to help individuals with uncovered costs or other costs to make homes habitable.
The White House statement explained:
"Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures statewide."
Biden met with acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton on Friday and expressed his intent to sign the declaration, which stems from a request by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.